Back in 2018, I decided to start this adventure to give back to the community for all its awesome advice and helpful people. Now, 4 years later, the blog has grown to one of the pillars for the community. We have done a lot of work to get this far, but looking back at where we came from, I am so happy to have started this blog. For the last 2 years, the blog has been a big distraction for me to get away from current world events. I know that it might sound a bit cliché, but being able to escape to Middle Earth and its fantastical adventures there has been a great way to expand my horizons whilst being stuck at home.
In this article, I’d like to reflect on where the blog has come from since the last anniversary and give thanks to the many people who have helped me get this far. I will also share some details here for the playthrough books that I have been designing together with Thaurdir. These books will be available for general purchase for a while, in order to give everyone the chance to get their hands on them. We have even updated some aspects after the feedback that was received last year.
Usually, the review of this article looks a lot like the yearly recap of last year, so I will not go over many of the same points. In general, I am glad that we got really close to completing the Vengeance of Mordor cycle last year. Just 1 more article remains before we can conclude that cycle. We are also approaching about 40-50% of all NM quests covered, with the first two cycles fully completed. I never thought I would be so invested in the Nightmare content, but if you own all the expansions, you really got to make use of that opportunity.
The personal collection also received some major updates since the blog’s third anniversary, with me obtaining all event playmats and all the Nightmare packs. A huge thanks to everyone who has reached out with the offer for me to buy their spare mats or packs. I hope many other people will be equally as lucky with their search, though the lack of reprints for the NM stuff has me worried that people might have to move to a digital platform in order to play scenarios on a harder difficulty.
I also updated my storage solution last year after I swore during the third version that I would stick to my simple modular deck boxes. Well, it turns out I really needed the extra space for the new dividers I got as well as fitting all the Nightmare and POD expansions in the same boxes. It took a while to fill all the boxes completely, but it was well worth it to me! I do still have plenty of those Flip ‘n Tray 200+ boxes left over, so if anyone needs them for a fair price, hit me up. They have served me well, and I hope other people can still make use of them.
I would like to thank a bunch of people for the past year and their support. Even though I could not attend any events, I am grateful for the support that the community has shown digitally. I have had a pretty tough year since the last anniversary, so being able to always return to see some friendly avatars and their experiences with the game have been great fun. I would like to thank everyone who has played with me during some multiplayer games as well. I have attended some online conventions and managed to play a lot of quests during the weekends with a fixed group of people with nothing better to do. It‘s really fun to have distractions like this at a constant rate.
A special thanks goes out to the many authors of the blog who have written content or updated their old articles. I could not keep up the amazing content just by myself, so I am thankful that you all have stepped up to write for the blog, sharing your ideas on various topics. We have continued some older series and started some brand-new ones, which I am very much looking forward to completing someday. Your input during my own articles has also been appreciated! In particular, I would like to thank Jared, who has stepped up last year as an editor for the blog’s articles. With his keen eye, we have been able to improve the language and grammar of the articles, which I could not have done myself without sacrificing writing articles.
*Editors Note I think I speak for many in the community when I say this, Daan, you have been an incredible asset to this community, and without this blog, I (and I feel many others) would certainly be lost and may have given up on the game due to frustration. So thank you, and cheers.
I would also like to give thanks to the people who support the blog financially. When I started the blog, I did not know that maintaining a website like this would take up this much money, which is why I started the Patreon site soon after. With that really taking off this past year, I have been able to put more funds towards the yearly loot that is handed out at the start of autumn. I hope to continue receiving your support and would again ask for any feedback you may have for the blog and how I could improve it.
Fellow content creators should also be thanked, of course, since they have been helping the blog out too. Cardboard of the Rings turned 10 this past year, and Hall of Beorn had their 9th anniversary since the last one of the blog. I am nowhere close to a decade of content, but here’s hoping that I may one day reach double digits as well! Card Talk shares the anniversary of the blog, so I will take this time to congratulate them on their 4 years and the successful launch of a written version of their podcast in the past year.
Lastly, a thank-you should also be handed to FFG and their attempt at reviving the game with the reprinted expansions. While this is not new content, it does help to bring more people to the game, and in turn, the blog. I am very much looking forward to seeing what expansions will get larger boxed reprints and if we may get some more starter decks besides the four confirmed ones.
Playthrough Notebooks for sale
To commemorate the blog’s fourth anniversary, I have sat down with Thaurdir to redesign the notebooks that I released last year. Because I could not attend Con of the Rings or Lure of Middle Earth last year due to COVID, I was stuck with about 50 extra notebooks after handing the majority of the books to Patreon supporters and the blog’s authors. I sold these notebooks at the price it took to make them, and I was sold out within a week. My notifications went non-stop after I posted about them on the various groups. However, I ran out with still plenty of people wanting several books for them and their playgroup. In order to finally fulfil that request, I will be ordering several more books in the coming weeks and shipping them internationally to people who want to keep track of their playthroughs.
The notebooks are 13 by 20 cm and will contain 120 pages. This is a few more than the 96 pages of the previous version in order to make up for the extra content included in the book. After the feedback from the first version books last year, I have decided to put 5 playthrough logs on a single page instead of 6. To be fair, the 6 per page did make them pretty small, which was a problem if you don’t have as small handwriting as me. These playthrough logs make up most of the notebook and will allow you to keep track of what quest you played, which other players you played with, and what heroes you have used. This allows you to look back on your many adventures after a while! Especially after conventions, it can be a lot of fun to look back at what exactly you played that weekend.
The playthrough logs may be the bulk of the book, but it is not the only content. I have added another LOTR Saga campaign, bringing the total to two in the book. This allows you to track two campaigns you might be running with different players at the same time. I also added again any of the other pages dedicated to community resources, the round overview, introduction, and other generic pages for which you can find images on the design article. The only other thing that was updated was the collection log, which now holds the revised Core Set, the Dark of Mirkwood, and the four starter decks. I know it will likely be out of date again at some point, but there is plenty of space to fill in other items yourself.
You can order your book by filling in the form on the following link: https://forms.gle/H1Z4zKtpyaWtJEYWA. If this is done before January 24th, I can guarantee you your notebook. Afterward, I will likely still have some leftovers to ship to late-comers. If you are reading this in the far future, it is unlikely that I have more books leftover, but you can leave a comment below, and I’ll see if I have any left.
Thanks again to all who have supported me these past 4 years, and here’s hoping for another amazing 4 years to come!